Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Small pleasures

I’d been photographing fishing nets, and as I walked back to the car, I noticed something different in the dark grey gravel alongside the parking lot. A light grey rounded form really stood out. What the . . .?

I picked it up. Heavy. Really heavy. Nicely rounded, a smooth, worn surface. How cool is THIS? Adrenaline rush. I looked some more. It was like an Easter egg hunt! I brought these five “mystery rocks” home with me. (I mean, wouldn’t YOU have?)

But what were they? Each had a hole on the bottom, and one had a hole and a rusty bolt. So, obviously they had been attached to something. But what? I’m thinking the metal must have something to do with fishing, that it probably wasn’t lead. What about zinc? I’ve seen hunks of shiny zinc attached to crab pots in Oregon. They’re there to prevent electrolysis, to prevent the metal in the crab pots from corroding. But they’re not round like these.

I determined that my “zinc balls” were worn, weathered, eroded, discarded zinc “anodes.” They begin their life as a thick (thicker than a hockey puck) chunk of zinc and gradually wear way down until they’re discarded and a new one is attached.

Mystery solved, but oh, don’t they look great gathered together like this, sitting on top of some very dark and very old Japanese papers?

Small pleasures.


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